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Patriots’ Bill Belichick Says Mac Jones SHOWS ‘Dramatic Improvement’

Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

THE BRAND NEW England Patriots won’t hold their first official training camp practice until Wednesday, but head coach Bill Belichick already likes what he’s got seen from second-year quarterback Mac Jones.

In accordance with ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Belichick had only positive what to say about Jones when asked about his progress Tuesday:

“He’s made tremendous strides. He did an excellent job this past year, but he’s beginning with a much, higher point this season from where he started this past year. His offseason work has been significant, and I believe everyone recognizes how well he prepares and just how much further along he was when compared to a year ago.”

The No. 15 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft helped lead the Pats to the playoffs as a rookie, and he’ll turn to repeat that feat during his second NFL campaign in 2022.

While Jones was bolstered by way of a strong defense and running game, he still were able to set up solid numbers during his debut season on the way to an expert Bowl selection.

The former Alabama star completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and he nearly led New England to an AFC East title prior to the Buffalo Bills came storming back late in the growing season.

Jones’ rookie year ended on something of a sour note. He threw for 232 yards and two touchdowns in the AFC Wild Card Round, but he was also picked off twice in a 47-17 trouncing as a result of Buffalo.

Belichick largely employed a conservative approach when it found Jones last season, nonetheless it sounds like he might be ready to obtain additional aggressive in 2022 given that Jones has greater knowledge of the offense:

“We’re only a lot further ahead in the conversation [offensively]. The plays that people discuss, or concepts we discuss, Mac has recently done it before. It’s possible for him to state, ‘Are we likely to do that on that? Are we likely to do that on another thing? What do you consider about splitting them a bit wider? Splitting them a bit tighter.’ Suggestions like this.

“And we’ve a far greater feel for what he is able to do, what his strengths are, and how exactly to make an effort to play into those. He’s self-aware, too. He knows what he does well. You want to make an effort to feature those.”

Additionally, Jones appears to have more self-confidence entering the 2022 season after focusing on his body through the offseason.

Jones recently discussed changing his diet and how transforming his body has him feeling “comfortable, healthier and better.”

NBC Sports Boston’s Patriots Coverage @NBCSPatriots

“I made significant strides… Fixing my own body, feeling comfortable, healthier and better”@PhilAPerry got the exclusive scoop with Mac Jones on his diet pic.twitter.com/kamSKKEoxv

Which could go quite a distance toward making Jones a far more dangerous player through the upcoming season since he wasn’t seen as a particularly dynamic quarterback as a rookie.

Jones is tall, but he isn’t fleet of foot and doesn’t have a very rocket arm, which might have resulted in some limitations.

Now, Jones appears to believe he could be better positioned to thrive in his second season, and Belichick’s comments may actually echo that sentiment.

Jones’ first possibility to put himself to the test will undoubtedly be on Aug. 11 once the Pats face the brand new York Giants within their preseason opener. A month down the road Sept. 11, the Patriots will open the standard season on the highway contrary to the Miami Dolphins.

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